Archive for December, 2009

Nacogdoches, Texas- Wetland Habitat Study Trip

Posted in Collection Trips on December 6, 2009 by Bhushan Dalvi

   

Eleocharis parvula  

In the first week of November I got a chance to visit some precipitative wetlands in Nacogdoches, Texas with some friends. This area had received quiet a bit of rain in the previous week so the water level in the slough we first visited was a little high.  

    

This slough was very high in organics. In some portions it was almost impenetrable.  

    

As we laboured through this dense vegetation we finally reached the edge of the slough where our first interesting find was thalloid liverwort which we determined was most probably Pallavicinia iyellii . This liverwort was growing everywhere along the edge of the slough with some species of moss which we could not identify.  

  

Pallavicinia iyellii    

Next we spotted some Proserpinaca palustris. This beautiful stem plant is overlooked quiet a bit in our hobby. As can be seen in the picture below P palustris prefers highly acidic substrate.  

   

Proserpinaca palustris     

We also spotted some  Saururus  crenuus in the same acid rich substrate. S crenuus seems highly adaptable to soil conditions as I have also seen this plant grow around Houston in soil with neutral pH.   

Saururus  crenuus   

The slough had a lot of Sphagnum sp moss growing around. Sphagnum sp moss has an ability to acidify its surrounding by taking up cations like calcium and magnesium. I collected a few strands of it to try in my blackwater Cryptocoryne set-up.  

  

Sphagnum sp  

As we came out of the slough we spotted some very interesting mushrooms and fungi. I grabbed the opportunity to take a few quick shots.  

  

  

  

  

Our next stop was a precipitative wetland with some spillage form water bodies around .  The highly tanned water was about 6-10 inches deep in places which made the place look  like a black water habitat.   

Darren in front of the wetland.  

As we entered this wetland habitat I spotted some Eleocharis pravula growing among some dead leaves on the moist soil. This was the first time I had seen E pravula growing in its natural habitat. I was excited.  We also spotted some Eleocharis acicularis growing  here.  

  

Eleocharis acicularis  

  

E acicularis growing submerged.  

 This location also had a lot of Vallisneria americana . I had not expected to find V americana growing in such acidic water.  

  

Vallisneria americana  

Our next interesting find was Ludwigia pilosa. There are a lot of pictures of this plant growing emersed but I was glad to see it growing submerged. This plant has a lot of potential as an aquarium plant. The crown of this plants looks stunning when viewed from the top.  

Ludwigia pilosa  

  

 Looking around more closely we were able to spot some Juncus repens growing in the dark, tanned water. J repens though an easy plant to grow is not easily available through commercial aquatic plant nurseries. 

 

Juncus repens 

  

We also spotted another stem plant here which I believe is a  Gratiola sp.

Gratiola sp

Walking around the swamp we were also able to find some very interesting critters.  First we found the Central/Eastern Newt (Notophthalmus viridescens louisianensis) hiding nicely among the underwater vegetation. The next one was a juvenile crayfish which I believe is a Faxonella sp.

Notophthalmus viridescens louisianensis

 

Faxonella sp 

We called it a day around 1: 00 pm and headed out for lunch. Thanks a lot to Darren who took the trouble to show us around.

Advertisements